Ronaldo is gone. So is van Nistelrooy and Robben. And Torres, Raul, Fabregas and Villa.
While we're at it we might as well acknowledge Beckham's resignation from the captaincy (a good thing for English football). Oh, and he's gone too, along with Rooney.
Ronaldinho didn't bother showing up (was he there?). Riquelme did, and will be remembered.
Who's left? And importantly, who's gonna make an impact the next few days.
*dish* *bish* thinks it'll be these four (but what the fifi do I know anyway, right?):
5 goals and he still looks likely to score some more. I say this because he also looks the most likely to get a penalty against the man-marking Italians. Apart from scoring, he can hold the ball up while waiting for the cavalry to arrive; ask Podolski who got two goals from this.
I expect the Italian I name below to almost blot Ballack out of the game (if MB's injury doesn't do this already); with Frings out, the German midfield is going to take some sorting out.
Klose could be the best chance they have of unlocking a chetti-like Italian defence. Germany need him more than ever.
I expect this game too will be a tight, cagey affair. The catalyst for an Italian victory will rest on the successful shackling of Michael Ballack.
I imagine Lippi is more likely to use Pirlo instead of Gennaro "The Snarl" Gattuso for this task, simply because at this stage you can't afford losing a player through suspensions, or worse, being reduced to 10 men; with Gattuso, that risk is always present.
Pirlo is a delicate enforcer against Gattuso's rugger-bugger, "take no prisoners" approach. And he can hit a sweet spot from set-plays too. If he's on song, the Italians will be singing.
Much will be made about the return of Deco and Costinha, and of Figo and Christina Ronaldo.
But for sheer unspotted mayhem, enter Maniche. I imagine Scolari would use him to good effect simply because the French may be paying too much attention to the above players. Maniche makes dangerous runs, passes well, does the spade work in defence, and makes a menace of himself going forward.
He's got an experienced minder in Claude Makalele (who'll also have an exciting 90 minutes looking after the interests of Deco and Figo), but one slip and Maniche will be troubling the French back four.
Whichever way the game against Portugal goes, the voices were right, and Zidane did well in reversing his retirement for one last swan song with les Blues.
Against Spain and Brazil he was a monster. Against Portugal we may yet see his best performance in the blue shirt.
It is plainly obvious that everyone in this French team wants to win this World Cup for Zizou as much as they want it for France and for themselves; they all look prepared to fight till the death, just like Diego and the 10 Argentines in '86.
And nobody in the footballing planet will begrudge this gentleman of the spotlight.
I like Zidane.